Baker in California Wins Religious Liberty Case After Refusing to Bake Wedding Cake for LGBT Couple

[Photo Credit: By MOs810 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82547984]

On Friday, a California state judge ruled in favor of a bakery owner who refused to prepare a wedding cake for a same-sex couple due to religious objections.

Kern County Superior Court Judge J. Eric Bradshaw decided that the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment failed to prove that Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller knowingly discriminated against the couple in violation of the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

According to court documents, Miller declined to build a personalized cake for Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio’s wedding in 2017 and recommended them to another bakery.

In 2018, another judge in Kern County Superior Court decided in favor of Miller, but an appeals court later overturned the ruling and remanded it to the lower court.

The Thomas More Society, a conservative public-interest litigation group that represented Miller and frequently pursues lawsuits defending the religious liberty rights of Americans, praised the judge’s decision as a win for free speech and religious expression under the First Amendment.

When Miller declined to create the cake, the group said she was following the teachings of the Bible.

The verdict comes as a Colorado baker is also appealing a ruling that he violated the state’s anti-discrimination legislation by refusing to construct a gender transition cake.

That baker, Jack Phillips, won a partial U.S. Supreme Court win a decade ago after refusing to produce a gay couple’s wedding cake on religious grounds.

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